Stories about government

Drones, Pakistan’s worst kept secret

The current surge in drone strikes in FATA has reignited the infamous ‘drone debate’ and ‘Pakistan’s tacit agreement’ on intelligence sharing with the United States. Only a few months ago, Peter Bergen, a US expert on drones, had revealed that the CIA drone campaign in Pakistan may have finally come to an end. Not only Bergen, but even the current Nawaz-led PML-N government boasted of lobbying against drones and convincing the Obama administration to cease the strikes. Till June this year, one could believe these reports and revelations as there was a long hiatus in predator strikes. However, it was on June 11 when, negating such ...

Read Full Post

Entry tests and inept professionals: Another nail in our education coffin

A few days back, I came across the news that the government is considering to end the entry test system (ECAT & MCAT) for admissions in universities. The news left me utterly dismayed. The policy to hold these tests was implemented a few years back, to check the competency level of students coming from different educational boards. It was a good way to test individuals on similar parameters to understand their aptitude for a particular field of study and was a much-needed step. In Punjab, there are many educational boards – almost every city has its own – and alongside ...

Read Full Post

Why socialists do not brace the Azadi and Inqilab marches

Enough has been said and written about Imran Khan and Tahirul Qadri in the recent days, and for obvious reasons. These contentious, yet, influential leaders have occupied the living room space of every Pakistani household via television. Therefore, one is forced to discuss them, whether they like it or not. Surprisingly, out of all the folks of the body politic; socialists or progressives are caught in this discussion. Unlike supporters of the mainstream political parties, socialists operate and deliberate in a sophisticated and academic manner; that is they analyse a movement through their ideological lens and then frame it within ...

Read Full Post

Ineffective management floods Pakistan… again

The recent floods that have wreaked havoc in various parts of the country should come as no surprise due to the increasing frequency of unpredictable weather patterns and Pakistan’s inability to deal with them. We remain fixated on issues of national security and domestic politics, and climate change and the resulting water crisis remain Pakistan’s most threatening issue. The floods of previous years and the drought in Thar (a few months ago) testify to the growing unpredictability of the weather and ineffective management of the government. Despite efforts to develop the service sector, we remain predominantly an agrarian economy; therefore, the effect of climate change ...

Read Full Post

Aitzaz Ahsan, I used to believe in you

Dear Sir, I am writing this letter to request you to reconsider your role in the current political crisis and to be on the right side of history. I, being a member of the educated middle class of Pakistan, see you as a man who has always stood up against injustice. I see you as a man whose political life spanning half a century gives testimony that my country still has educated, brave and faithful fighters who would do whatever it takes to defend Pakistan. I know that you were a college student like me when you campaigned against the dictatorship of Ayub Khan. I ...

Read Full Post

An open letter to anti-PTI trolls

Am I a member of a cult or some secret society? No. Have I recently been released from prison for murder? No. Then why do I have to cringe every time I show my support for the Azadi March and why am I made to feel like a deviant? If you follow your leanings and happen to side with the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), as an effort to get rid of this putrid system of government, get ready to be torn apart by a new breed of trolls. Our government and our systems have failed us. We have been disillusioned and indifferent for far too long. Now that ...

Read Full Post

I do not support PAT, PTI or the government

The scenes shown on television Saturday night were nothing short of shameful, disappointing and uncivilised for a nation like Pakistan. Unconsciously, I was continuously comparing the events of that night with the horrors shown in The Purge, a movie about a night when laws cease to exist. Surely, we did not deserve that as a nation. Or did we, by blindly following egotistical leaders with a thirst for power without realising the true purpose of democracy? I do not agree with the fiery rhetoric of the protestors nor do I agree with the blunt attitude of the government. There was no need to ...

Read Full Post

I am with Nawaz Sharif on this one

In 2008, at the prime minister’s palace in Baghdad, President George W Bush took the stage when suddenly, a shoe whizzed through the air towards him. Bush ducked (he was good at that at least) and missed the shoe but the world heard the words yelled that accompanied the missile, ‘This is a farewell kiss from the Iraqi people, you *&% !’ And then, since normally he who has one shoe also has another, another shoe followed the first with another shout, ‘This is for the widows and orphans, and all those killed in Iraq!’ This person, who had been unable to contain himself, ...

Read Full Post

Mr Prime Minister, is your government really the emblem of economic progress?

Forget, for a moment, that your panic and desperation resulted in the nation giving unnecessary attention to Tahirul Qadri. Forget the fact that once again the law enforcers in Punjab, under the umbrella term of law and order, put behind bars thousands of workers of the political parties that were giving you a tough time. Forget, for now, about the fact that what would have been just another march or protest became even bigger because you dug a hole for your own government’s future by over-reacting. Let us even forget for a moment that this political mayhem has us wondering whether democracy will ...

Read Full Post

Did PPP really handle the assorted marches ‘better’ than PML-N?

There is no doubt that, on the face of it, the Zardari administration has handled the political crisis of Imran Khan’s and Tahirul Qadri’s previous marches much better than the Nawaz administration has so far. However, the constant comparisons that political pundits have made between the two situations are not only unfair but also erroneous. The reason that the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) government was able to handle the situation ‘calmly’ was not because Zardari is some sort of a political mastermind. Contrary to what we would like to believe, the PPP’s response was not part of some strong commitment to a ...

Read Full Post